Sunday, March 6, 2011


New scary story! People enjoyed scary stories so here is moar!

The native villagers around these parts say that there’s a stretch of tundra just north of here that is occupied by benevolent spirits. These spirits grant insight and warning to whoever visits them at night, once the sun has disappeared entirely and left the world in jet darkness. I drove out to the middle of the frozen expanse of ice and waited, hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever commanded these people’s reverence. They send their children out, bundled in furs to keep from freezing, on the eve of their 15th birthday to seek an audience with these spirits. Once they have achieved this, the children run home to their parents to share the news. From then on these children are considered adults in the village. Engaged couples visit this tundra on the night before their wedding. The entire village stays up all night awaiting their return, as it is upon their return that the couple either decides to proceed with their marriage, or to abandon it. The elderly visit the tundra whenever they are sick or ailing, and often make their condition worse by staying all night in the cold. When they return, however, it is most often with an air of sheer serenity.
So I waited, curious to see what phenomenon might inspire people so powerfully. I waited for hours, bundled in my parka and sitting on the hood of my pickup. I waited until I felt that I was going to freeze to death, even in my thick clothing.
I heard the spirit before I saw it. A crunching of snow in the silence made me jump off my truck and spin around. A hunched, gray-skinned man stood a few meters away. Sad, yellowed eyes stared back at me, set inside a skull from which sprouted only a few greasy hairs. He breathed heavily, with a rattle that shook his fragile ribcage, and one of his arms looked as if it had been messily broken and then neglected, allowing it to knit back together imperfectly. Badly scarred flesh marred his splayed legs. The man stared at me for perhaps ten seconds, breathing in the frigid air and exhaling a sickly dribble of steam, before disappearing when I blinked my eyes.
I spun around, looking for the man, but he was truly gone. Approaching where he had stood, I found a pair of bloody footprints in the snow. Frantic with fear, I got into my pickup and headed for the village as fast as the ice would allow. A few villagers were waiting for me when I arrived, knowing that I had gone out and curious as to what might happen. I hastily got out of my truck and, approaching the nearest villager, I demanded, “What is so benevolent about these spirits? What is so insightful? How do these spirits help you?”
“What did you see?” he asked, the look on his face now mirroring the fear in mine.
“I saw a man, horribly disfigured and desperately sick!” I screamed into his face, and the rest of the villagers around us backed away a step. “Why? What does that mean?” I begged him.
“The spirits show only one thing,” the man explained. “They show their visitors, a year in the future.”

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ghost story. Haamutarina.

Uusi jännittävä tarina! New interesting story! Et halunnut nukkua muutenkaan. You didn't want to sleep anyway.
I was an American male on the loose in Belgium in the late 80’s. The tiny village I lived in was called Cambron-Casteau and was only a few kilometers north of the French Frontier. The town was truly nondescript and an ancient abbey remained the only interesting feature it possessed. The abbey’s remains stood on fifty acres of land just beyond the town with a great house, a tower, forests, lakes and catacombs! The latter caught my attention as soon as I learned of them. I investigated the tunnels both historically and physically. Originally, it seems monks in the late 1500’s connected the abbey to the church in nearby town of Lens with underground tunnels, and may even have gone as far as Mons. This is no small feat as Mons rests twenty kilometers from the abbey and Cambron-Casteau. It then appears that Hitler could not leave something like an underground tunnel alone and had it walled up during Belgium’s occupation because too many of his soldiers got lost trying to chase out the resistance fighters. There was evidence of this down some of the underground corridors where a newer wall ended all forward advances or a room was filled floor to ceiling with a pile of rocks. Despite the diminished area of the tunnels they still held my attention and I soon knew every available inch. When I was not in the catacombs I was walking through the abbey’s forests or around the lakes till the late afternoons. It was on one of these lazy Sunday walks that my life changed… forever.
Call me paranoid if you wish, but the late 80’s in Europe was no time for an American to walk around alone. It seems the Nazi Party was not quite as dead as we had been lead to believe and chance encounters with young skinheads became a very real possibility and a very real danger as well. For this reason, I took to carrying a certain semi-automatic friend of mine under my coat on my left side to give a would-be assailant .45 reasons to rethink his position. I will not discuss my occupation at the time, or why I could get away with this, suffice to say that I could, and leave it at that.
I was walking around the largest of the abbey’s lakes late on a Sunday afternoon when I saw a woman about two hundred meters from me near one of the entrances to the tunnels. I could tell she wore a dress, but she had some kind of cloak over it hiding any details of the garment. I did noticed her figure, but few other details. There was no obvious evidence that she was in distress or needed assistance, it was just a feeling I got as I walked toward her, and she moved toward the catacomb door. Reflexively I adjusted the comforting chunk of finely milled steel under my left arm, reassuring myself it was still there even though I knew it was. By the time I reached the door to the tunnels she had disappeared inside with only one glance back at me as I approached. The late afternoon sun was casting many long shadows and I was too far away to see her face clearly, save for her eyes. Her eyes simultaneously bothered me and drew me to her. Loose stones crunched underfoot as I left the paved trail for the gravel road to the catacomb entrance. I did not notice at the time, but she had made no noise on the gravel. My approach to the door had been from the side and I did not actually see her open the door to go in. When I reached the door I had to grasp and engage the metallic thumb latch and swing the door wide on rusty hinges. It never entered my conscious mind that I hadn’t heard the hinges when she went in, but my subconscious was pulling double duty trying to keep me alive by taking over my right arm and moving my hand to the butt of the heavy Colt 1911A1 in my shoulder rig. I had been in these tunnels often enough to know where I was. The entryway beyond the door had two exits. The one on my right led to the greatest area of tunnels. The exit in front of me was little more than a rubble-covered stairway that branched to two separate short passageways that both dead-ended. As I paused for my eyes to adjust I heard a faint indeterminate sound from the direction in front of me. My eyes had not yet righted themselves, but I moved forward anyway… I knew these tunnels… she may need me!
As I moved my eyes cleared and I noticed a feint glow like a match up a tunnel that I knew stopped at some of the Fuhrer’s masonry. When I rounded the last bend I saw her. She had her back to me and she starred at the wall. Her hair was long and straight and the deepest raven black. Her curves were not the kind to get lost in a crowd either. As I stood there memorizing every inch of her she began to turn to me. Her face was a mask of death! There were no eyes in the sockets of her dried skull as she looked at me. There was no skin on the bones of her hands as she raised them toward me. What happened next I pieced together later. My instinctual reaction was to bring up the gun in a perfect weaver stance and dump the entire clip into… it. I also started to back away at the same time and fell. This must have been what I had done, for when I came to my senses I was laying on my back in the pitch dark. I fished a Zippo out of my pocket and surveyed the area. I found no woman, no blood, no appreciable time had passed according to my watch, no rational reason that I could see before and now it was dark, and no real desire to stay in the tunnels one second longer. I quit the catacombs before anyone came to investigate the shots and hurried home. At home I discovered some unnerving facts. I had cut my head when I fell. When I washed the blood out of my hair, I found the most startling gray streak over both of my temples that had not been there mere hours earlier. I really wanted this to just be some kind of horrible dream, but the more time passed; the more I began to remember. This seemed totally opposite to a normal dream that one would usually forget by the end of the morning coffee. This dream was getting more vivid as time passed.
I remembered a sharp pain in my gut and coughing or… no… choking! Yes, that was it… Choking! I was gasping for air! I could not breathe and my poor, sweet little girl, the child I clutched in my arms, dead… My husband… my husband had been taken away and must surely be dead also. My…
I nearly fell. What was I thinking? I did not have a child, much less a husband?! Then I saw her. She was standing right next to me… in my own house! She was not the skeleton she had been, her smooth skin was the palest white and now looked as it must have… in life. A little shorter than me, jet black hair, even in death she was beautiful. She was pulling her hand back as if she had been touching my shoulder.
I understand now. The SS must have caught her and other resistance fighters in the tunnels when they walled them up. All she wants is a decent burial. This is not too much to ask. I’m leaving now with a pick and a shovel to do the right thing. The labyrinth beyond the walls is unmapped. I do not know where she died. I only hope she stays around long enough to lead me back out of the tunnels when my work for her is done. If she does not, however, I leave this testament to any who come looking for me that they may at least have a clue as to where my body may lay…

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Scary story! Jännittävä tarina!

Very long but very interesting story! Pitkä mutta jännä tarina!

I always liked Super Mario 64 when I was a kid. I remember playing it at my aunt's house all the time. Well, one day a pop-up appeared out of nowhere as I was watching gameplay footage on Youtube. I was a little startled, and was about to close the window, until I realized that it was a website showing of a mint condition copy of Super Mario 64 for sale. There was a picture and everything. I usually don't trust these things, but the feeling of nostalgia overpowered me, and I wanted to buy it.
The whole business was peculiar, seeing as how the owner of the game wanted the buyer to send an envelope containing $10 to and address on the site, instead of using something like PayPal. What made things even more strange was that when I tried to gain access to the website (I wrote down the URL) after encountering...problems with the game, the page was nowhere to be found.
A few days after the $10 was mailed, I got a package containing the new copy of the game. The first thing I noticed when I opened the small box was that the "official sticker" with Mario flying in the air was apparently peeled off or something. In it's place was a piece of duct tape with "Mario" crudely written on it in permanent marker. I felt a little ripped-off, but as long as the game worked, I didn't care.
I got out my Nintendo 64 and put the cartridge in. The screen turned on with the familiar Mario face that you could stretch and twist aimlessly. I remembered laughing all the time at the results as a kid and decided to mess around for old times sake. I moved the cursor over to Mario's ear and pulled it to elven proportions. I was going to do the same to the other ear, when the TV suddenly produced loud static. Mario's whole head started deforming and twisting in ways that I didn't even know were possible for the model. Random sound effects from the game started playing along with the static. As all this was occurring, I could hear a faint voice whispering in Japanese. The voice was stammering and whimpering.
I immediately shut off the game and tried again. I didn't bother with the Mario head this time. Just selected a new file and started playing.
When I selected the file, the game skipped the opening monologue by Peach and the courtyard outside. Mario was just placed right inside the castle. Creepier still, Bowser didn't say anything either. I tried to ignore it and played anyway. However I also noticed that their was no music. Just dead silence. Their weren't even any Toads around to talk to. The only door I could enter was the Bob-omb Battlefield. The other doors wouldn't even respond to my button commands.
The portrait to Bob-omb Battlefield wasn't the usual picture. It was just a stark white canvas. I was still trying to convince myself that these were just minor glitches, and that they wouldn't effect the gameplay at all. Once I entered the portrait, the image suddenly went from a blank canvas to the Lethal Lava Land painting. You know, that slightly unsettling image of the flame with the evil smile? Yeah, that's when I started getting really suspicious.
The mission select menu came up, and yet another weird detail was present. Instead of "Big Bob-omb on the Summit", the mission was called "TURN BACK". I have no idea what drove me to press A, but I did.
The level seemed normal. Everything was how I remembered it. I thought I could finally enjoy my favorite childhood game. But then I saw him. Luigi. I was absolutely shocked. He was never in this game. His model wasn't even a Mario palette swap. He looked like a completely original model. Luigi just stood there until I tried to approach him. He started running at unexpected speeds. I followed suite and went through the level. Strange things happened as I pursued him. each time I picked up a coin, the enemies and music would get slower, and the scenery would look darker in color and more morbid. It kept gradually getting worse until I collected a 5th coin. Then, the music just stopped. The enemies laid down on the ground like they were dead. I was seriously freaked out, but I kept chasing Luigi.
I went up the hill. No cannon balls rolled down trying to knock me over. I really wasn't surprised at this point. Luigi was always just out of my sight as I ran. Once I reached the summit, I saw yet another object out of place. A small cottage was all that was seen on the top of the hill. Luigi was nowhere to be found. The cottage was certainly od looking for a Mario game. It was old, plain, and broken down. Regardless of my fears at that moment, I had Mario enter the cottage.
As soon as the door closed. A disturbing picture of a hanged Luigi immediately popped up along with a very frightening scare chord. It sounded like a violin screech accompanied by loud piano banging. Mario fell to his knees and sobbed for roughly 5 minutes, then the screen irised-out.
I returned to the castle. Mario just slumped out of the painting. The image switched from the Lethal Lava Land portrait to the image of Luigi hanging himself. The room was different this time. It was now a small hallway. Toads with blank expressions and white robes lined the sides of the hallway. Their was another painting at the opposite end that just completely and utterly scared me. It was a picture of my family It wasn't even a photo from the time Super Mario 64 was released. It was a very, very recent photo. I remembered posing for it last weekend.
I reached for the on/off switch on the N64. There was no way I was going to play this anymore. However, when I flipped the switch, the game was still on. I flipped it back and forth, but to no avail. I tried unplugging the whole system, but it never left the screen. I was even still able to control Mario. I couldn't just leave it on I kept playing. I went to the photo of my family, and jumped in. Only one mission was available, of course. This one was called "Run, Don't Walk". I selected the mission. 'Let's-a-go'...
The level started in a flooded hallway with platforms floating on the water. Mario landed on one of these, and the camera turned to show what was behind. A silent black void was slowly approaching Mario. It didn't look like anything. It didn't even look like finished graphics. Just a giant, blocky, black blob. I started jumping from platform to platform. With no goal in sight, I kept running, the darkness slowly but surely gaining speed. This kept going on for what felt like hours. I was really doubting there would ever be an end. Mario was just going in circles. Finally, the black blob/void/thing caught up with Mario, and enveloped him in darkness. He didn't scream or resist at all. It just consumed him.
Mario fell out of the painting and back into the castle. I lost one of my 3 lives. The room was different now. Some of the Toads were gone, and the painting looked different. My family and I were in the same positions, but our bodies were partially decomposed. It looked too real to be photoshopped. It looked more like someone just took our dead bodies and posed them.
Regardless, I jumped into the painting again. Mario was in an small room. There was still only one mission available. It was called "I'm right here." spelled just like that. I selected the mission and prepared for the worst. Mario landed in a small, dark room. There no visible way out. The room was empty except for a piano in the corner. I knew what that meant. i was stuck in there with the Mad Piano. I approached it and it started chasing me as always. There was no way to damage it, so I had no choice but to let Mario take damage.
When he lost all his health, the usual death animation didn't happen. Mario just got mauled by the piano. He fell as his blood and guts spilled on the floor, and the camera panned to a top down view of his corpse. A distorted version of the merry-go-round music from Big Boo's Haunt played as the screen slowly transitioned from the in-game shot to a photo-realistic sketch of Mario's dead body in the same view as the shot. It was very unsettling. I was crying softly as I gazed upon the image. I lost another life.
The photo of my family was shown again. We were even more rotten then before. The view zoomed into the painting, like I was warping again. I was greeted with a shot of Peach's castle from the outside. The castle was crumbling in ruin. The fields were on fire. The sky was pitch black. Bowser's laugh played on a loop in the background as children mockingly chanted "You couldn't save her!". This went on for a long time, until, a close-up of of Peach's face accompanied by an extremely loud screech interrupted the loop without notice. Peach's mouth was wide open as if she was screaming, and her eyes were empty, black holes.
Suddenly, I was back in the hallway as Mario was once again ejected out of the painting. Now all of the Toads were gone, and me and my family looked positively repulsive. Maggots were wriggling around in holes in our flesh. Guts were spilling out of our bodies. My dad's eyeball was hanging loose from its socket. It was too much to bear, but something still urged me to trudge on. I jumped into the painting, with only one life remaining.
This time, there was no name for the mission. Just a blank space where the title would be. I selected the mission, and Mario landed on a very small island in the middle of the ocean. There was a solitary sign. It only read "DIVE". I did just as it said and entered the water.
The ocean was dark and empty. There were no fish. I wasn't even able to see anything in the water besides Mario. I swam downwards. I kept going for quite some time, yet Mario never ran out of breath. I counted roughly 10 minutes of swimming until I decided to go back up. Just as I turned Mario around, it came. A huge, and I mean huge Unagi the Eel came out of nowhere and swallowed Mario whole. I was dumbfounded. It went by so fast I wasn't even sure what I saw. The Game Over screen didn't show up. All that happened was a fade-out.
The photo of my family and I was shown again. We were plain skeletons now. Once again, it looked very real. I couldn't move the camera at all. It just stayed focused on the picture. I shut off the game and turned it on again. I chose my file, but it just went to the skeleton photo of my family. I tried this about 3 more times before giving up. I desperately wanted to stop, but some force kept me from walking away. I decided to select the only other saved file. The camera once again focused on the skeleton picture, but this time they were in a different position. As if they were a different family.

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