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May 5th

Last night was very strange, and I'm tired as I write this because I didn't get much sleep. Maybe what happened was just a nightmare. A realistic one. That would explain it. What happened was, as I looked around for my cat with just my flashlight, I heard something. It was very loud, and hence, probably not a raccoon or anything simple like that. I live in a fairly rural area, so some visits by wild animals is expected, but this seemed like a bit much.

The loud noise came from inside my shed immediately after my first call, as if something had been disturbed by the sound of my voice and had banged against something in an effort to get up and listen. Though it was loud, it was the only sound that came from it. Wild animals can't be ruled out, but since there is nothing in there that they'd want to eat, I don't see why they would go to so much trouble to get in. I was a little frightened, so I didn't go look in there, deciding instead to look around in the morning. However, as I made my way back to my house, I felt like I was being followed. It only served to frighten me more and push me to hurry inside.

Nothing else strange happened until bedtime. My cat had shown up, ready to sleep as usual, and we tucked in, but as I turned out the light, something unsettled me about my window. It was facing the full moon tonight, and the only blinds that were drawn were cheap paper ones, and the light from the moon could still filter in quite brightly. But tonight, much of the moonlight was intercepted by a large shadow, as if someone stood directly outside the window, unmoving. The shape didn't look entirely human, not that I could tell, anyway. I tried to dismiss it as shadows being cast by some out of control tree branches and the moon being positioned just right, but it still upset me.

Later that night, I woke from a light sleep, and I could swear I looked over at that window again, only to find that the shadow was gone. Like I said, this could've been a simple nightmare, as the memory of it is unreliable. Even if I had woken to find the window looking different, I can't trust my memory since I was still half-asleep and groggy. Nonetheless, I've decided to go ahead and check out my shed today.

May 6th

I didn't bother coming back to write yesterday because I busied myself with fixing the mess of my shed. It looks like it was probably a desperately hungry creature who decided to venture in even though no food smells could be detected. What I can't seem to figure out, however, is the method of getting in. The shed has no flooring, it just sits on dirt, and the thing tunneled in from a hole just outside the wall of the shed. There is now a hole on the inside of that wall, large enough that I could probably crawl in if I didn't mind a tight fit. I don't know what animal could be responsible for this, but I'll have to ask around. The inside of my shed looked to be ransacked by the hungry creature, bags of soil torn open and tossed aside, stacked pots pulled apart and strewn around, even potted plants dug up. It was a terrible mess, but I'm most concerned with blocking off that hole so the creature can't get back in if it wants to.

May 8th

Nobody has any idea what could've been tunneling its way into my shed. All I can hope is that it's gone and moved on now and it won't bother me any further. Freckles, my cat, seems to be sleeping in some hiding place outside because he isn't coming out when I call him, the brat.

May 9th

I've started to really worry about Freckles. I haven't seen or heard anything of him since the night of the 7th, so he's been MIA for almost 2 days now. He never stays gone this long even when he's visiting a neighbor a ways down the road. I'm going to post a couple signs and check with the neighbors to make sure nobody has taken him in thinking he's a stray.

May 10th

I think I'm losing my mind. The large rock I thought I'd pushed into the hole in my shed a few days ago was sitting beside the empty hole. Maybe I hadn't actually gotten it in yet, and put it off because the rock is so heavy.

May 12th

Things have started to spiral out of control. I need help, so I called one of my old friends. She'll be coming over to stay the weekend and help me through this. My sweet little cat... I found him. I found him by following the stench of decay to that damned hole in my shed, and there he was, lying far enough in the tunnel that I wouldn't have seen him until I got on my knees and looked in. One of my neighbors had been visiting at the time, a young, handsome man, and once he saw how stricken I was to find my cat dead in there, he told me he'd take care of it. The kind man ushered me into my house and got to work dragging Freckles' body out of the hole on his own. He insisted on digging a grave, and afterwards, he comforted me, knowing how much I was hurting at the loss of my only companion on this little piece of land.

May 13th

My friend Mary arrived last night and we got drunk together and watched silly movies. It was nice to feel okay again, but that feeling hasn't lasted this morning. I'm genuinely scared in my home now. I thought I saw, around the corner in a hallway, some strange deformed shape, like something was in my house. Mary hadn't seen it as she'd been in the living room with our breakfast and paused romantic comedy movie. I don't think it was my imagination playing tricks on me since we weren't watching a horror movie.

I had just finished in the bathroom and was stepping out when I saw, for an instant, this strange, vaguely humanoid thing, staring around the corner at me. I didn't get a good look at it, but I think it seemed to be... fleshy, and almost hairless, like a burn victim with fresh 3rd-degree burns covering their entire body. Raw, seeping flesh, bubbled up in many places. No eyelids to cover its sunken eyes... Its... hand?... was gripping the wall near its face. It was very long and slender, with "fingers" that seemed to end with blunt points, almost like that of a mole. When I blinked, it was gone. The details may be wrong due to how little time I had to look at it before it vanished. Needless to say, I ran back to Mary as fast as I could and told her all about this. She was, of course, skeptical, but agreed to help me search the house anyway. We found no traces of the thing. It's driving me mad. I've insisted that Mary sleep with me in my queen-sized bed tonight, instead of in the guest room, but she says I'm being silly.

10:30 PM

We were out on the deck, Mary feeding me a steady stream of drinks hoping to calm my nerves, when I noticed that Freckles' grave appeared to have been dug up. This seemed to finally unnerve Mary, and when I decided to go check on it with my flashlight, she begged me not to, but I had to. She refused to walk the couple yards with me, instead standing on the deck and watching me approach it.

Sure enough, the grave had been dug up, and the blanket we'd buried Freckles in had been torn apart and strewn around the area surrounding the hole of the grave. Freckles' body was nowhere to be found. It had been taken by whatever had done this. I'm now certain that the thing I saw in my house is responsible for the hole in my shed, killing my cat, and now taking his body... but what for? No creature I've ever heard of (and I've never heard of one that looked like that) would kill something only to wait days before eating the carcass. It makes no sense.

Even after telling Mary this news, she didn't think it necessary to keep me company throughout the night, so now I'm sitting in my bed, writing in this journal, trying to stay awake. I've locked my door and windows. I can only hope Mary has done the same. I stashed a large serrated knife under the pillow next to me in case of emergency. I don't intend to die tonight, but if I do, maybe this journal and all its details will tell the authorities how I died and they can warn people in the surrounding areas to look out for the thing.

May 14th

Mary won't get out of bed this morning, which is not really unusual behavior for her. She'll often sleep until noon if no one bothers her. But she's locked her door, as I'd hoped last night, and I can't go try to wake her up by anything more than knocking and speaking, but she's a heavy sleeper, so it's no surprise that hasn't worked.

I have conflicting feelings, because I'm relieved that I made it through the night without incident despite falling asleep, but I don't want to be left alone, all the same. Mary's leaving today, but I need to try and convince her to stay. Maybe I can offer her to move in, rent-free. She might like that, as she's always talked about how much she loves the privacy and sense of freedom out here. I could get her to move in, at least until I can find someplace else to live.

2:35 PM

I... have to get out of here. I'm going to get killed if I don't leave. But I'm too scared to go outside anymore. I'm too scared to even set foot outside of my bedroom. I've moved my dresser in front of the door and here I sit, a mess on my bed.

Mary never came out of her room. And it's no wonder she didn't. I had decided, around 12:30, to go out to my shed and fill the hole back up with the big rock and whatever else I could find, since I'd left it open the entire weekend. This being the first time I'd gone out to the shed in awhile, I wasn't surprised to find it in general disarray again. That thing had come in again and screwed around with things. But... as I kneeled to look into the hole and start piling rocks in, I found a slipper. Pink. Mary's. When I peered in further, I saw a pale white foot. The soft legs... the rest of the body obscured, lost in the tunnel.

My friend is dead. She's probably been dead since last night. Her abduction must have been silent, her death quick. Or at least I hope. I know it's coming for me next. It might continue pillaging along this area until everyone who lives here is dead. Turned into fermented corpse food for something that doesn't look too far from a corpse, itself. How can I be laughing at my own jokes at a time like this? How long will it be before it comes for me? Will it wait for Mary's body to start decomposing and then take maybe a few days to finish her off? Maybe I've got a week or so. But that isn't necessarily good news. It's just a week of waiting, anticipating my own death.

Afterword

This journal was found on the property of Lisa Sullins, buried beside her abandoned house. The body of Mary Stoltz was never recovered. Lisa Sullins was never found, nor was any sign of her body, but is assumed dead by police investigators. The original journal has been kept in police custody. There have been numerous reports of a creature with the likeness of a burn victim in the area since.

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