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Author's note: This story was inspired by a post from 4chan.

When I was young, I had a somewhat peculiar hobby. It wasn’t anything disturbing or gross, just a little unorthodox.

In the mornings, when the sun shone brightly through the windows of my house, I would prance through the rooms, jumping and twirling like a ballet dancer. I’m not entirely sure why. It was sort of like a little ritual I performed. Even then, it felt odd, but it was calming and mindful, almost like a type of meditation. Usually, I’d have a little tune in my head that I’d quietly hum along to, pretending I was enacting some sort of big performance for all my adoring fans.

It sounds silly, I know, but I was only a child. Little kids do weird stuff all the time, right?

One day, I was enjoying another dancing session, practicing my acrobatic moves through the kitchen. On my final cartwheel, I heard a mighty smash just as I planted my feet back down onto the floorboards.

I recoiled in shock. I knew what had happened even before I cast my eyes upon the kitchen floor. Shattered ceramic pieces lay scattered around my feet. I had knocked down a plate from the counter.

Panic rushed through my body. There was no doubt that Mother would have heard; it was a small house and she was only in the next room over. I stood paralysed, my heartbeat pounding in my ears. Mother had never cared for my special hobby and now she had a perfectly good reason to scold me for it. She might not ever let me do it again.

As I feared, Mother appeared at the doorway like an apparition, scowling. She shook her head at the shattered plate, getting visibly angry as the seconds passed by. Already, my face was red and tearful. I choked, trying to force out an apology, but before I could say a word, she grabbed me by the ear and pulled me to the staircase.

I wailed hopelessly, but to no avail. Mother would scarcely change her mind once she had decided on something. She dragged me all the way up the stairs until we arrived at a small closet-like room, no wider than a bathtub.

With a bitter shove, she pushed me inside, slamming the door behind me. I turned, only to have the door lock as soon as my arms reached to push it open again. I begged Mother to let me out, banging my fists against the door. Tears still streamed down my face, dripping off my chin.

“Every time you misbehave, I want you to remember, you could’ve been one of them!” Mother shouted over me, her voice loud and fierce.

I knew she meant the jars.


As Mother’s footsteps faded down the corridor, I slid down the wall in anguish, sobbing softly to myself. The room was dark and dingy, and I could practically hear the spiders crawling across the walls, most likely inches from my head. The only light was from a small window that was far too high for me to reach.

But that didn’t matter. What made me loathe that room so much was the jars.

They lay upon an old shelf opposite to where I sat, half a dozen of them, all lined up neatly in a row. Each was about the size of your fist. A viscous fluid oozed inside of the jars. It was thick and transparent, allowing me to see the monstrosities that hid within, just barely visible.

Pinkish creatures, like little gummy people, were stashed away in the jars. Six of them. Their arms and legs stretched out in front of their bodies, which were misshapen and curved, floating gently within the fluid. It pained me just to look at them, as if the frail beings inside were watching me with their tiny eyes.

So, there I lay, drifting in and out of slumber. What little sleep I got was plagued with horrible nightmares.

I dreamt of the creatures. Let loose from their jars, they surrounded me, crawling upon my skin like large cockroaches. I tried in vain to swat them away, but there were dozens, hundreds, and I found myself overwhelmed, slowly suffocating on the cold, hard floor, covered in little gummy people.

It was the next day before I awoke to the sound of Mother undoing the heavy bolt on the closet door. It squeaked loudly as it opened, and Mother’s face soon came into view, glaring at me with a cold-blooded stare.

“No more bad behaviour,” she told me.

And I nodded wearily, tears still stained on my cheeks.

Written by Cornconic
Content is available under CC BY-SA